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A call to right wrongs

THIS IS now the third draft of my "parting shot." These words, after all, are the final ones I will ever have printed in The Cavalier Daily, and thus cannot be taken lightly. This is my legacy to future generations of University students, or so I'm told, and how I present myself in this column is how I will be remembered in the annals of U.Va. history.

Rather than attempt to explain how much my time in Charlottesville has affected me, which would take far more than the 800 words allotted to me, I will share just a few tidbits of wisdom that might help future classes to fully appreciate the U.Va. experience. It's too late for the Class of 2001, but perhaps ye who remain will right the wrongs and fight the good fight.

1. There are hundreds of thousands of bands out there, folks. Dave Matthews may be the hometown guy and all, but this does not change the fact that he cannot sing and does not need to be played 24 hours a day. Furthermore, please stop calling his brand of music "rock and roll." There is absolutely nothing resembling rock there. It rolls, certainly, but in order to qualify as "rock" you have to use an audible bass line. Plan 9 is one of the best record stores I have ever seen for finding albums released on small labels and their listening station is a great resource. Try out some new things. Believe it or not, a lot of good stuff never makes it to the radio. Especially not 3WV.

2. You may have noticed the guys running around in dark blue hard hats and matching shirts at football games. Those are called football players. Believe it or not, there actually is a game going on. I know that it's hard to tell through your blurry drunk-o-vision goggles, but there are about 50 guys out there every week working their tails off to do the University proud. Put down the bourbon and cheer a bit, pretty please.

Oh yeah, screaming "not gay!" is not cool despite what Eminem says.

3. No matter how good it sounds, do not live in Bice House. Between the roof construction beginning at 8 a.m. the week before exams, the elevators that never work, the air conditioners that make your room dryer than the Mohabe Desert and a parking lot that is always 110 percent full after 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, you are much better off with Lambeth. Just lock your door.

4. Classes are not meant to have either mandatory attendance or an exam worth 50 percent or more of the final grade. Professors need to realize we are not children and can choose for ourselves whether or not lecture is a worthwhile endeavor while also understanding we all have bad days and would rather not see our entire grade point average ruined by one hard exam or paper. Foreign language classes are an excellent example of courses that offer students many opportunities to screw up so it can be made up for later. Government classes need to get away from this "three grades and out" philosophy of teaching.

5. There are two things every U.Va. student should do next year: Attend every home men's basketball game and come visit The Cavalier Daily offices at least once. These are two activities that brought untold amounts of joy to me in the last two years. This season in particular, I spent countless hours in the giant clam (a.k.a. University Hall) cheering on the most exciting team in the country and screaming myself hoarse. Coach Gillen has done amazing things for this program, one I have followed closely for 12 years, and I am proud to have U.Va. basketball as my chief winter obsession.

Speaking of obsessions, working for The Cavalier Daily is a relatively thankless job, (particularly if you work on production staff) but the people you get to meet and spend time with make it worthwhile. I met the love of my life in this basement last year, and that is one piece of U.Va. I will always carry with me. Although nothing could ever eclipse that, I can also walk away proud that I befriended many other outstanding people and perhaps left a bit of knowledge in my wake. If nothing else I am completely certain that thanks to me Adam Blumenkrantz will never be remembered as "the bad cop" of the prod department.

Well, the time has come for me to go do that studying thing. Consider the advice passed on in this column carefully, for one day it may force you to be honest with yourself about college stereotypes you never questioned. After all, I cannot possibly be the only one who thinks Dave sounds like a dying frog.

(Nick West was a 2000-2001 Production editor.)